The CESR / VU Amsterdam Center for the Study of Health Inequality (CSHI) aims to support, disseminate and communicate research on the causes of health inequality.

CSHI is housed within the Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) at the University of Southern California (USC) and the Economics Department of Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam. Topics of interest to CSHI are the substantial disparities in health, human capital (e.g., education), and economic outcomes between socioeconomic groups; the role of early childhood endowments, circumstances, and parental investments in explaining later-life health and socioeconomic disparities. An important focus of the center is to make use of recent advances in genetics to inform economic analyses, such as for example, studies of gene-by-environment (GxE) interplay in influencing health outcomes, such as unhealthy behaviors, mortality, late-life cognition, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

CSHI aims to develop integrated approaches to these issues, developing economic theories to explain empirical findings and make predictions and conducting empirical structural- as well as reduced-form analyses. CSHI brings together researchers from various disciplines within the University of Southern California’s and VU Amsterdam research communities as well as distinguished researchers from outside USC and VU Amsterdam, in such fields as economics (of health, human capital, and labor), epidemiology, psychology, demography, gerontology, public health, biology, and genetics. CSHI seeks to stimulate collaboration and communication between CSHI researchers and develop an infrastructure for its members and the broader research community. For example, we run a social-science genetics seminar / journal club series that is entirely online (Zoom) allowing researchers in Europe and the US to participate (for details, and if you would like to join, see here).

CSHI also seeks to inform policymakers and the general public to raise awareness and assist policymaking. CSHI members actively pursue sources of funding for the center, such as from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Netherlands Science Foundation (NWO), to support its activities. Initial support was provided by CESR and by a National Institute on Aging K02 award (K02 AG042452).


Health Disparities

(R01 AG037398)


GXE in Late-Life Cognition

(RF1 AG055654)

Human Capital and Health

K02 AG042452

VIDI Grant


GXE In Health Behavior


    1. Van Kippersluis, H., Biroli, P.., Dias Perreira, R., Galama, T.J., von Hinke. S.,  Meddens, F., Muslimova, D., Slob, S., de Vlaming, Rietveld, N. (2023), Overcoming Attenuation Bias in Regressions using Polygenic Indices: A Comparison of ApproachesNature Communications, 14, 4473 (2023). Link to working paper
    2. Bierut, L., Biroli, P., Galama, T.J., and Thom, K. (2023). Challenges in studying the interplay of genes and environment.  A study of childhood financial distress moderating genetic predisposition for peak smoking. Journal of Economic Psychology.
    3. Galama, T.J. and van Kippersluis, H. (2022), Economic theories of health across the life courseElgar Handbook on Health Inequalities Across The Life Course
    4. Marees, A.T., Smit, D.J.A., Abdellaoui, A., Nivard, M.G., van den Brink, W., Denys, D., Galama, T.J., Verweij, K.J.H., Derks, E.M. (2021), Genetic correlates of socio-economic status influence the pattern of shared heritability across mental health traitsNature Human Behavior, pp.1-9.
    5. Fonseca, R., Michaud, P., Galama, T.J. and Kapteyn, A. (2021). Accounting for the Rise of Health Spending and Longevity. Journal of the European Economic Association,19(1), pp.536-579.
    6. Becker, J. et al (2021), Resource profile and user guide of the Polygenic Index RepositoryNature Human Behaviour, pp.1-15.
    7. Okbay et al. (2022), Polygenic prediction of educational attainment within and between families from genome-wide association analyses in 3 million individualsNature Genetics. 54:437-449 (2022)
    8. Dias-Pereira, R., Biroli, P., Galama, T.J., von Hinke, S., van Kippersluis, H., Rietveld, C.A., and Thom, K. (2022), Gene-by-Environment Interplay in the Social Sciences. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance. Working Paper.
    9. Dias Pereira, R., H. van Kippersluis, and C.A. Rietveld (2022) “The interplay between maternal smoking and genes in offspring birth weight“, Journal of Human Resources, Forthcoming.
    10. Barcellos, S., Carvalho, L. and Turley, P. (2019). Distributional Effects of Education on Health (2021), Journal of Human Resources, Forthcoming. NBER Working Paper No. w25898
    1. Van Alten, S., Domingue, B.W., Faul J., Galama, T.J., and Marees, A.T.  (2022b), Correcting for volunteer bias in GWAS uncovers novel genetic variants and increases heritability estimates. Working Paper.
    2. Van de Kraats, C., Galama, T.J. and Lindeboom, M. (2022), Why Life Gets Better after Age 50 For Some: Mental Well-Being and the Social Norm of Work. Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group, Working Paper 2022-040
    3. Galama, T.J. and van Kippersluis, H. (2022), Human-Capital Formation: The Importance of Endogenous Longevity. Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group, Working Paper 2022-009
    4. Van Alten, S., Domingue, B.W., Galama, T.J. and Marees, A.T. (2022a), Reweighting the UK Biobank to reflect its underlying sampling population substantially reduces pervasive selection bias due to volunteering. Working Paper.
    5. Barcellos, S., Carvalho, L. and Turley, P. (2021). The Effect of Education on the Relationship between Genetics, Early-Life Disadvantages, and Later-Life SES (under revision at the Journal of Political Economy). NBER Working Paper No. w28750
    6. Muslimova, D., Meddens, F., Rietveld, N., von Hinke, S., and van Kippersluis, H. (2021), “Complementarities in human capital formation: Evidence from birth order and genes.” Working Paper.
    7. Birol, P. and Zund, C.L. (2021), Genes, Pubs, and Drinks: Gene-environment interplay and alcohol licensing policy in the United Kingdom. Working Paper.
    8. Biroli, P., Galama, T.J., von Hinke, S., van Kippersluis, H., Rietveld, C.A., and Thom, K. (2021), The Economics and Econometrics of Gene-Environment Interplay. R&R Review of Economic Studies. Working Paper.
    9. Muslimova, D., Pereira, R., Rietveld, R., Meddens, F., van Kippersluis, H., von Hinke, S. (2021), “Rank concordance of polygenic indices: implications for personalised intervention and gene-environment interplay”  Working Paper.
    10. Van Alten, S. and Galama, T. (2021), Genetic and environmental determinants of socioeconomic status: evidence from within-family models in the Dutch Lifelines cohort. In preparation.
    11. Carvalho, L. (2022), Genetics, Economic Choices, and Income. In preparation.
    12. Aranda, R., Galama, T., and Thom, K. (2022), The Long-Run Health Consequences of Title IX. In preparation
    13. Galama, T., Munteanu, A and Thom, K. (2022), Intergenerational Consequences of Compulsory Schooling. In preparation.
    14. Van Kippersluis, H., Meddens, F.. Roestenberg, T., and Van Ourti, T. (2022), Estimating Inequality of Opportunity: Evidence from Stochastic Frontiers and Genes, Mimeo.
    15. Baker, S., Biroli, P., van Kippersluis, H., von Hinke, S. (2020), “Beyond Barker: The role of gene-environment interactions.”
    16. Van Alten, S., Galama, T.J. and Thom, K. (2021), The distributional consequences of region-specific exposure to Chinese import competition: evidence from a shift-share analysis (1990-2010). In preparation.
    17. Barth, D., Papageorge, N.W., and Thom, K. (2021), Genetic endowments, income dynamics, and wealth accumulation over the lifecycle. In preparation.
    18. Jeong, Y., Papageorge, N.W., Skira, M.M. and Thom, K. (2021), Genetic endowments, Alzheimer’s disease, and economic outcomes. In preparation.
    19. Warly Solsberg, C., van Alten, S., Geier, E.G., Bonham, L., Derks, E.M., Sirota, M., Galama, T.J., Yokoyama, J.S., Marees, A.T. (2021), Conducting a genome wide association study: a roadmap and tutorial. In preparation.
    20. Angrisani, Faul, J., Galama, T. and Kabeto, M. (2021), Money Management Problems as a Precursor of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia. In preparation
    21. Biroli, P., Galama, T.J., Marees, A., et al. (2021), Sources of Inequality at Birth:  the Interplay Between Genes and Parental Socioeconomic Status. In preparation
    22. Van Kippersluis, H., Sopa, G., and Windmeijer, F. (2022), “The polygenic score as a generated regressor: implications for inference.” Mimeo

Social-Sciences Genetics Seminars

Contact Us

Center for the Study of Health Inequality

To learn more or join our mailing list or to join our Zoom Social-Science Genetics Seminars Journal Club, please contact our Director, Titus Galama.